1 And when now Joab the son of Zeruyah perceived that the heart of the king was turned toward Abshalom:
2 Then sent Joab to Tekoa, and he fetched thence a wise woman, and said to her, Feign. I pray thee, as though thou mournest, and do put on mourning garments, and anoint thyself not with oil; but be as a woman that hath these many days been mourning for the dead.
3 And thou must come to the king and speak with him after these words: and Joab put the words into her mouth.
4 And the woman from Tekoa spoke to the king, and fell on her face to the ground, and bowed herself, and said, Help, O king!
5 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she said, Truly, I am a widowwoman; since my husband is dead.
6 And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two quarreled together in the field, and there was no one between them to help either; so the one smote the other, and slew him.
7 And, behold, the whole family is risen up against thy handmaid, and they said, Give up the slayer of his brother, that we may have him put to death, for the life of his brother whom he hath killed; and we will destroy also the heir: and thus they will quench my coal which is remaining, so as not to allow to my husband either name or remainder upon the face of the earth.
8 And the king said unto the woman, Go to thy house, and I will issue my charge concerning thee.
9 Then said the woman of Tekoa unto the king, On me, my Lord, O king, be the iniquity, and on my fathers house: and may the king and his throne be guiltless.
10 And the king said, Whosoever speaketh aught unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.
11 Then said she, Let the king, I pray thee, remember the Lord thy God, so as not to suffer the avenger of the blood to cause yet more destruction, and that they may not destroy my son. And he said, As the Lord liveth, there shall not fall one hair of thy son to the earth.
12 Then said the woman, Let thy handmaid, I pray thee, speak unto my Lord the king one word. And he said, Speak on.
13 And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? and since the king doth speak this thing, he is as a guilty man, if the king do not permit his banished one to return home.
14 For we must needs die, and are as water which is spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; and yet doth God not take away life; and he deviseth thoughts, so that the banished one may not remain banished from him.
15 And now that I am come to speak unto my Lord the king of this thing, happened because the people made me afraid; and therefore thy handmaid said, I will still speak unto the king; perhaps the king may act in accordance with the word of his handmaid.
16 For the king may hear me, to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that desireth to exterminate me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.
17 And thy handmaid said, May the word of my Lord the king now become the means of giving repose; for as an angel of God, so is my Lord the king to comprehend the good and the bad: and may the Lord thy God be with thee.
18 Then answered the king and said unto the woman, Conceal not, I pray thee, from me a word concerning what I am going to ask thee. And the woman said, Let my Lord the king but speak.
19 And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my Lord, O king! none can turn to the right or to the left from all that my Lord the king hath spoken; for it was thy servant Joab who hath bidden me, and it was he that hath put in the mouth of thy handmaid all these words.
20 In order to change the appearance of the matter hath thy servant Joab done this thing: and my Lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all that is done on the earth.
21 And the king said unto Joab, Behold, now, thou hast done this thing: go then, bring back the young man Abshalom.
22 And Joab fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself, and blessed the king: and Joab said, Today is thy servant convinced that I have found grace in thy eyes, my Lord, O king; since the king hath acted in accordance with the word of thy servant.
23 And Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Abshalom to Jerusalem.
24 And the king said, Let him repair to his own house, but my face he shall not see. So Abshalom repaired to his own house, but the kings face he did not see.
25 And like Abshalom there was no man as handsome in all Israel, so that he was greatly praised: from the sole of his foot up to the crown of his head there was no blemish on him.
26 And when he shaved off the hair of his head and it was at the end of every year that he shaved it off; because it was too heavy on him, so that he had to shave it off: he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels by the kings weight.
27 And there was born unto Abshalom three sons and one daughter, whose name was Thamar: this one was a woman of handsome appearance.
28 And Abshalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and the kings face he did not see.
29 Abshalom sent out therefore for Joab, to send him to the king; but he would not come to him: and he sent again the second time; but he would not come.
30 He thereupon said unto his servants, See, Joabs field is alongside of mine, and he hath barley there: go and set it on fire. And Abshaloms servants set the field on fire.
31 Then did Joab arise, and he went to Abshalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set the field belonging to me on fire?
32 And Abshalom said to Joab, Behold, I had sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it would be better for me were I yet there: and now let me see the kings face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him put me to death.
33 So Joab went to the king, and told it to him: and he called for Abshalom, who came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king; and the king kissed Abshalom.